Believe it or not Wilmington, North Carolina has some of the best Mexican food and tacos in the south and maybe the east coast. If you have travelled to Mexico or California for that matter then you know what a great taco tastes like.
It’s the fatty, greasy, overcooked steak (carne asada) laid out on a small corn tortilla with cilantro, onion and a splash of sales is what is known as the “street taco.”
For some strange reason Wilmington has amazing Mexican food!
Switch out the steak and bring in chicken (pollo) or shrimp (camarón) or fish (pescado) and you still have an amazing taco.
With that said, its nearly impossible to find a good taco and authentic Mexican food in the south of the United States, unless you come to Wilmington.
This article list the top 10 best authentic Mexican restaurants in Wilmington, North Carolina. The restaurants on this list serve traditional Mexican food: tacos, burritos, tortas and all your traditional favorites. These restaurants are as authentic as they get, because after all (for some strange reason) Wilmington has amazing Mexican food!
1. Taqueria Los Portales 1
Taqueria Los Portales 1 is a local Wilmington Mexican restaurant and Taqueria and taco bar. The restaurant serves authentic Mexican food including tacos, tortas, burritos, plates and dinners in a fun and casual environment. Taqueria Los Portales is known for their fresh salsa bar that boasts 12 varieties of toppings for your burritos and tacos including onions, cilantro, lettuce, cucumbers and radish. When it comes to salsa, add a ton of flavor at the salsa bar with habanero, chipotle, arbol, tomatillo and avocado sauce.
Tacobaby is a hip local Wilmington taco shop and restaurant that prides itself on amazing tasting Mexican inspired cuisine using only local ingredients. Tacobaby serves a wide variety of items including inventive quesos, guacamoles and salsas, wings, rice and beans and tacos with eclectic proteins like Duck Confit, grouper, short ribs and jackfruit. The restaurant is known for their impossible taco.
Tacobaby offers a fun and small cozy dining environment with a tequila bar that boasts a collection of 36+ tequilas and 8 small batch mezcals.
3. Block Taco
Block Taco is a boutique taco shop and window that is tied to one of Wilmington’s hottest bars with live music, the Satellite Bar and Lounge. Block Taco serves some of the tastiest tacos in the Cape Fear region in the most casual setting. Grab a taco from the Block Taco window and walk next door to Satellite to grab a drink and eat.
4. Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn
Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn is a Wilmington institution with an amazing Mexican themed restaurant atmosphere and funkadelic motif that everyone will enjoy. The restaurant serves affordable Mexican food including tacos, burritos and much more. Flaming Amy’s also known for their salsa bar and video games. The restaurant has both inside and outside dining areas including a dog-friendly outdoor picnic area.
5. La Güera Taqueria Restaurant
The La Guera Authentic Mexican restaurant is a local Wilmington establishment serving truly authentic Mexican food including tacos, burritos, ceviches, nachos, tamales and more. La Guera is also a Mexican bakery serving the most authentic Mexican baked goods.
6. La Tapatia
La Tapatia is a local Wilmington Mexican Restaurant serving fast casual, authentic Mexican food. La Tapatia features all your classic Mexican favorites including tacos, burritos, ropes, huaraches, tortes, quesadillas, fajitas, nachos and more! You’ll find a full bar and some of the best margarita’s in town. La Tapatia is also known for their seafood dishes including ceviche.
7. La Costa Mexican Restaurant
La Costa Mexican Restaurant is a family owned, local Wilmington restaurant that has been in business for 15 years. La Costa Mexican Restaurant serves all your traditional Mexican Food favorites including tacos, nachos, burritos, tortas and much more. The restaurant is affordable and offers a family friendly environment.
8. Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill
Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill is a fresh mex restaurant just off the causeway in Wrightsville Beach. The restaurant serves Mexican cuisine that embraces classic southern flavors, creating a unique let favorable spin on traditional Mexican food.
The Tower 7 menu ranges from appetizers, Beach BBQ, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, wraps, quesadillas and salads, and much more. Popular menu items are the Angry Chicken or Shrimp as an appetizer, the classic chicken, shrimp, carne asada or yellow fin tuna fajitas, or the big burritos. In addition to traditional Baja Mexican food, Tower7 serves southern favorites like pulled pork nachos and low country grilled cheese.
9. Islands Fresh Mexican Grill
Islands Fresh Mex Grill is a local Wilmington Mexican restaurant with locations across town. Island Fresh Mex Grill serves the freshest Mexican foods with a sweet Caribbean twists, specializing in burritos, tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and enchiladas. The restaurant offers tasty and affordable tacos and Baja fish tacos.
The K38 Baja Grill on Oleander is a local cantina serving authentic Baja Mexico cuisine, including fish tacos, salads, burritos, wraps, margaritas and more. Named after the famous Mexican surf and camping spot south of the border, the K38 Baja Grill serves the freshest Mexican food in town.
The Grill on Oleander is stacked with a full bar and restaurant. Hangout and grab drinks at the bar, enjoy relaxing surf music and videos and great conversations with other patrons and staff. There is dining inside and out and dogs are welcome outside on the patio.